Buy or Sell LeBron James as NBA’s best all-time player

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About six years ago, I wrote an article for Suite101, naming LeBron James one of the NBA’s top 5 players of all time. In fact, as stated in the article, I placed King James at number 3, and he had been in the league for less than five years at that time.

The old version of that article received many comments, and most of them were less than kind to yours truly (Suite101 has removed old comments from its updated site). How could I place LeBron on such a lofty pedestal in such a short time, readers wondered.

Although the slant of this post is similar to the Suite101 article, the debate is fresh. With a decade of experience, four NBA MVPs and two NBA championships to his credit, it’s time to pose the question: Is LeBron the best ever?

I’m selling LeBron James as the NBA’s best all-time player

Based on my high ranking of LeBron years ago, it may seem strange that I’m not yet convinced that he’s number 1 overall, considering his hefty laurels, and a good argument might convince me, because it’s a very close call.

As I did years ago, I’m still going with Michael Jordan as the NBA’s all-time best player.

Although Michael’s and LeBron’s statistics are similar, each better than the other in one or more areas, my Buy or Sell barometer measures so much more than statistics.

Even though LeBron James can rip an opponent’s heart out faster than a zombie in The Walking Dead, Michael Jordan was even deadlier, when it came to snatching victory away from opponents and jubilance from opposing fans.

According to sketchy historical data, outlined here, Jordan hit 50 percent of his game-tying or game-winning playoff shots. By comparison, King James has hit slightly less than 42 percent in fewer attempts. Game winners is still just one more measuring tool, but a key one for me.

It’s NBA Finals Game 7. The clock is winding down. 3, 2, 1. . . . You can have any player in history take this shot.

I’ll take Michael Jordan, the NBA’s best all-time player.

Who do you want?

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Mark Barnes is the author of many education books, including Bestseller Hacking Education, part of his Hack Learning Series, books that solve big problems with simple ideas. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and student-centered learning. Join more than 100,000 interested educators who follow @markbarnes19 on Twitter.

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